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Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
DESCRIPTION: From one of the producers of the Academy Award(R)-winning NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN(Best Picture, 2007), comes this critically acclaimed,
postmodern Norwegian coming-of-age story. REPRISE follows two aspiring novelists and lifelong friends journeying down different paths after one's first novel receives wild acclaim and the other a pile of rejection slips. Filled with infectious energy, filmed in French New Wave style and featuring a stellar up-and-coming young cast, REPRISE is an extraordinary film you'll want to experience again and again.
|Breaking the Waves
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When Bess, a naive young woman, marries Jan, a handsome oil-rig worker, she experiences passion and physical pleasure that she never imagined. Their bliss is cut short when an accident on the rig leaves Jan paralyzed. Believing he will never make love to Bess again, he tells her to take other lovers, convincing her that this will help his recovery. Bess is sent spiraling into a world of dark emotions she cannot understand
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A Swedish researcher strikes up an unlikely friendship with a cranky Norwegian farmer in this "quirky, thoughtful and bittersweet" (Boxoffice) comedy that captured audiences hearts around theworld. Both "warm" (Newsday) and witty, Kitchen Stories is "a deadpan, thoroughly delightful comedy that cooks up tasty laughs" (New York Post)! It's the 1950s, and a Swedish efficiency expert under strict orders not to interact with his subject is sent to improve a Norwegian farmer's culinary efforts. But the sly old farmer much prefers to amuse himself by impeding the timid researcher's work! Soon, in the struggle between neutral observation and the need for human interaction, the kitchen becomes a battleground!
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Just as Knut Hamsun's novel, Hunger, considers what it means to starve for one's work, Danish director Henning Carlsen's film adaptation of Hunger portrays the story’s protagonist as an inscrutable man whose eccentric dedication to literature costs him his health. Hunger, the first Scandinavian co-production to represent Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in its making, takes place in 1890's Christiania (Oslo), where Pontus (Per Oscarsson) perseveres homelessness and starvation to write articles for a local magazine editor. Filmed in grainy black and white, Hunger is as thoughtfully subtle as an Ingmar Bergman film. Pontus's washed-out hallucinations recall The Seventh Seal, while his preoccupation with the lovely Ylajali (Gunnel Lindblom), whose name he invents because of the way the name rolls off his tongue, recalls the romanticism of Wild Strawberries. Scenes showing Pontus considering how to steal bones from dogs, or pleading with his boots to stay on his feet, capture his self-inflicted tragedy, while other scenes depicting citizens refusing to help Pontus earn money elicit sympathy for his plight. Watching this film alongside Hamsun, a wonderful biography of the author, shows similarities between the author and his most famous character, Pontus, not due to Knut Hamsun’s poverty or sketchy mental facility, but rather his undying commitment to skepticism and literature. Hunger, however, quiets those personality traits, making Pontus as sensitive as he is uncompromising. --Trinie Dalton
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|Insomnia (The Criterion Collection)
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Brand: Image Entertainment
Disgraced Swedish detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) travels to northern Norway to solve a brutal murder in Insomnia. Unable to sleep through the night of the midnight sun, Engström quickly loses his grip on the case and his mind. Erik Skjoldbjærg's debut feature is a deft amalgam of psychological thriller, morality play, and police procedural. Criterion presents the DVD premiere of Insomnia in a new widescreen transfer.
This 1997 film from Norway and neophyte director Erik Skjoldbjærg delivers the goods with unsettling effectiveness. It's an intense, smart, and taut thriller if only because what it eerily implies is creepier than the film's reality. Opening with a churning, chilling murder of a young woman, Insomnia invites the viewer--as well as its protagonist, celebrated Oslo homicide cop Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård)--into the mind and thoughts of a killer by making Engström fatally flawed himself. While in pursuit of the murderer, Engström makes a mistake; he accidentally shoots his partner and friend and covers up his deed in a panic. But he overlooks a minor detail: the real killer has seen him commit the crime. What ensues is a layered, complex, and unnerving descent into chaos, brought on by the inability to sleep in this land of the midnight sun. Engström suffers from insomnia, which warps his logic and resolve, and before long he's totally unraveled and unsure of his every move. But not before a twisty transference and countertransference occurs between cop and killer. The two play a game of high-stakes one-upmanship that surprises in the end. Insomnia is fresh and psychologically bent, full of Scandinavian despair and dark humor, and it boasts a film noir pulse beneath its blinding light. --Paula Nechak
|Cool & Crazy: On the Road
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In his 2001 documentary Cool and Crazy, Norwegian filmmaker Knut Erik Jensen introduced us to a group of men from a small fishing village in Norway who find purpose, companionship and even fame as members of the Berlevåg Male Choir. Now in the sequel, COOL & CRAZY ON THE ROAD, we witness this group of Scandinavian singers encounter a nation in mourning as they cross the Atlantic for their first U.S. tour, only 3 weeks after the tragedy of September 11th.
The Berlevåg Male Choir is a group of about 30 fishermen--the youngest age 30, the oldest in his 90s--from a little village on the banks of the Barents Sea with a practically uninterrupted view all the way to the North Pole. Their harsh lifestyle has made these men resolute and strong natured. When the men arrive in post 911 America, their fortitude is a source of inspiration for the fragile people they encounter. As the men tour the country singing, they bring hope and wisdom to their audiences through timeless songs of faith and joy that touch all those they meet. They also find fun, cutting a swath across America in their tour bus--sightseeing in New York City, dancing in the streets at a Hollywood party, sharing trade secrets with fishermen in Cape Cod, and touring Elvis' recording studio in Memphis.
Cool & Crazy was one of Norway's most popular films in recent years. It was voted one of the 'Best of the Festival' at the Edinburgh Film Festival where The Guardian called it "The best movie about music since Buena Vista Social Club." It made its U.S. premiere at the Chicago Film Festival, then opened in Los Angeles and New York, and played in Minneapolis, Washington DC and elsewhere during the Choir's U.S. tour.
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Brand: FIRST LOOK HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Elling is a slyly funny odd couple about two misfits trying to find their places in the world. After living in a state home, Elling and his best friend Kjell are given their own apartment in the center of Oslo. The two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up unlikely friendships in the strangest places.
This Norwegian comedy (nominated for an Academy Award®) concerns two men being released from a state home. Until the death of his mother, Elling rarely left the apartment where they lived; Kjell has lived in institutions most of his life and is obsessed with sex, as any virgin in his 30s might be. Thanks to a new social program, the two roommates are given an apartment in Oslo--if they can manage to live independently. At first simply answering the phone or buying groceries is a struggle, but as they taste freedom, their lives become an exciting adventure. In a Hollywood movie, these two would be cute goofballs; what makes Elling so very engaging is how genuinely awkward and uncomfortable Elling and Kjell are. Their difficulties in the world are treated with respect and realism, which makes their progress bracing and their success delightful. A charming film. --Bret Fetzer
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List price: $7.96
Brand: CINEDIGM - UNI DIST CORP
Henry Chinaski (Dillon) considers himself a writer, and on occasion writes. Mostly he quests for the booze and women that sidetrack and seduce, rather than inspire greatness. When he falls for Jan (Taylor), the soulful connection fails to save either from their self-destructive ways, and the relationship totters between earnest connection and reflective loathing. With exceptional performances that capture the intoxicated journey though life and art, Factotum is the story of a man living on the edge; a writer who risks everything, tries anything, and finds poetry in life
Matt Dillon lumbers through Factotum like a side of beef just starting to rot, lifting his chin in quiet, semi-comic reflections on the domestic squalor of a booze-ridden life. His slow, thick performance--as if he had something more viscous than blood running through his veins--has a weary gravitas that veers from wry resignation to bursts of violence that he regrets even as he's committing them. As Henry Chinaski (an alter ego of author Charles Bukowski), Dillon idly skips from job to job, seeking one that will allow him to continue his two pursuits: Writing and drinking. He gets enmeshed with one woman (Lili Taylor, I Shot Andy Warhol) and dallies with another (Marisa Tomei, In the Bedroom), but his only true love is the bottle. Despite this bleak storyline, Factotum proceeds with an almost lighthearted pace, each spare scene delivered with a dry, almost wistful tone of regret and flashes of gallows humor. Director Bent Hamer (Kitchen Stories) is from Norway and has a similar aesthetic to Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismaki (The Man Without a Past); sly slices-of-life that deliver bad news with a gentle, forgiving touch. --Bret Fetzer
- Brand Name: GENIUS PRODUCTS INC Mfg#: 796019797351
- Shipping Weight: 0.17 lbs
- Genre: DRAMA
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|The Beautiful Country
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An epic story, exotic locales and electrifying performances from Bai Ling (Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow), Tim Roth (Dark Water) and Nick Nolte (Hotel Rwanda) highlight this moving film that celebrates the power of the human spirit. Raised as an orphan, Binh (Damien Nguyen) is a young Vietnamese man with one impossible dream: to be reunited with his birth father, an American G.I. who left without a trace. In an incredible odyssey that stretches from Saigon to New York to Texas, Binh confronts unimaginable hardships as he finds danger, love and, finally, the key to unlocking the mysteries of his past.
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